Acting Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Dr. John Atte, yesterday promised to eliminate corruption in the service as well as increase revenue generation capacity of the service.
To this end, he has read the riot act to his officers and men and propped them to brace up to new challenges as he banned the operation of task forces in the service as well as patrols. Atte also gave Area controllers marching orders to increase weekly average revenue from current N13billion to N35billion.
These were part of the outcome of the maiden meeting the new Ag CG had with senior officers of the service at the corporate headquarters in Abuja yesterday. The strategy session of customs Management and customs Area Controllers presided over by Dr. Atte was convened to discuss various areas of revenue leakages and put in place measures to plug them.
Atte, formerly a Deputy Comptroller General (DCG) in charge of Finance, Administration and Technical Service (FATS), took over from the retired CG, Abdullahi Dikko on Wednesday. He was the most senior officer and is expected to hold forth till President Muhammadu Buhari either confirms him.
Atte is known among officers for his zero-tolerance for corruption. In Line with the anti-corruption posture of Mr. President, Dr. Atte has also directed the immediate setting up of anticorruption seats in all Area commands to monitor Officer’s conduct and report to his office accordingly. On anti-smuggling activities, the Federal Operations Units were directed to intensify border surveillance and bring smugglers to book.
However, the meeting directed an immediate review of operational procedures to give maximum effect to the ban on hinterland patrols in the country. Similarly, he disbanded all Task Forces under any name or guise operating in all seaports, airports and land borders with immediate effect. Officers serving in these units, he disclosed, will be withdrawn and redeployed.
Atte equally directed Area Commanders to take full control of their commands, warning that they will be held responsible for staff misconduct and discipline in their jurisdictions.
Atte also directed all federal operations units and other enforcement units of area commands to re-enforce and increase their presence in all land borders with a view to curtailing trans-border crimes before they grow into threat to internal security.
“Henceforth, the Zonal coordinators are to take full charge of all area commands under their jurisdiction as they would be held accountable for any reported case of corruption or subversion of revenue”, he warned. With this marching order, the acting CG directed a weekly review of revenue targets and evidence of seizures which will now form the basis of the officer’s deployment to the field.
– Emeka Pascal, Abuja